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KHDA School Inspection Results and Ratings. 2019-20. The Complete Official List.
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KHDA School Inspection Results and Ratings. 2019-20. The Complete Official List.

by Jon WestleySeptember 30, 2020

Background: KHDA School Inspection Results and Ratings. 2019-20. The Complete Official List.

Parents have asked us for a super simple list of this year’s ratings by the Dubai Government’s Inspectorate of Schools (KHDA). You will find it published below.

This is the official list provided directly to us by the KHDA.

We could not, however, in good conscience, provide the list without some explanation and context. It is absolutely not a matter of simply choosing one of the KHDA Outstanding schools and “job done.” The KHDA celebrates one or more achievements of every school in Dubai with few exceptions (see KHDA Weak schools below). The KHDA’s role is to support parents, schools and children. It does not publish its reports to hurt schools or teachers or denigrate the schools that many thousands of children attend. Quite the opposite. It sees its role as one of supporting schools to be the best in the world for parents and children – and does so powerfully. Dubai has many genuinely world class schools. Not all schools have always been outstanding. They grow to become outstanding in partnership with the KHDA, parents and students. Also worth noting in a point we make again below, the benchmark for achieving a KHDA Good School rating is set very high. Most will have one or more Very Good and Outstanding features.

Just a couple of points, first, to give the list some context.

First, not all schools were inspected this year because, at the time their inspections were due, they were unavoidably closed because of Covid 19. Any one of these schools could be a Good, Very Good or Outstanding school. Not inspected does not mean a poor school.

Second, just because a school is graded Outstanding, does not mean that it will be necessarily a better school than one graded a Good school or graded a Very Good school for your child. It is hard for a school to achieve a KHDA Good School rating. KHDA Inspections are rigorous. Expectations are very high. Inspections are meaningful. Grades are not handed out like toffees.

As a general rule, however, Outstanding schools will offer an outstanding education for the broadest range of children. This is not always the case – some KHDA Outstanding schools target, for example, only the most academic children or first language French speaking children. But, as a general rule, as you work up the gradings, you can expect to see any number of increasingly stand-out features at these schools, many of which define these schools as competitive with the best schools you will find operating anywhere in the world.


It is worth noting that many schools which may well be outstanding in almost every other way, do not reach the grade because of their performance in Arabic subjects. The American School of Dubai is a good example of this. Many schools struggle badly in this area. More on why here (of the many articles we have published on the site, this is one we feel most proud of and hope it will help many families understand the complexity of the Arabic language issue in our schools).

Acceptable schools are those which do not meet the standards expected by the KHDA for a school operating in Dubai in one, or more, ways. They will all have, in important respects, failings that the KHDA identify will hold some children back. We know, however, that some schools on this list do provide a very good or outstanding education for many children. Some schools on this list fall short of KHDA Good school status by a whisker. The KHDA is tough in its gradings because it wants to ensure that the education children receive here is the best and happiest available anywhere in the world. Full stop. In some ways, school gradings by the KHDA are more directed towards schools themselves to help them improve rather than being something intended to steer parents away from them. Behind the scenes, KHDA Inspectors and schools work very closely together in relationships built on mutual respect, care and kindness. After all, the KHDA and schools share the same ambition – to deliver an outstanding happy education for every child.

KHDA Weak schools are a different story. They present significant risks and we would avoid them. These schools may be at risk of closure if they do not improve very swiftly. The KHDA is deeply committed to ensuring a world class education for every child and these schools fall a long way short of the mark.

Bottom line? Read through our review for schools you are interested in. We provide a search box at the top of our site. Many “Good Schools” are outstanding for the right children. A KHDA rated Good School, many of which have Very Good and Outstanding features, do, every day of the week, provide an outstanding education for many, many children. 

As with all tables, the devil is in the detail.

In our reviews you will find the detailed knowledge we have built up over many years of knowing these schools and watching them develop on their journeys. You will also find our views and recommendations reflected in our Top School Awards which explore those schools that are stand-out in different areas of what they do for children.

It is also worth reading the reviews of different experts on our sister site We have different perspectives and ways of evaluating schools. Whilst for the most part we share our views of schools, we do not always.

As with all reviews, or grading, these are only tools to help you. They are not the last word in the right school for your child. There is nothing that can replace a visit to those schools on your shortlist. Always speak with the School Principal and Subject Teachers. You need to absolutely trust that (1) they will care for your child, (2) that the school can deliver what your child needs and (3) the school is resourced properly. At some point you will know if a school is right. Trust your instincts. If you see abandoned children crying alone in a corner (and yes, we have seen this on our visits to schools) you will have a pretty good idea that you need to run a mile.

The real authority on whether a school is outstanding, or not, is not SchoolsCompared, the KHDA or schools themselves. It is, in every case, you and your child. In every review we write, we always consider the independent evidence and feedback we receive from parents. But parents differ in their views too because children differ.

We think that, after a visit to a school, you should ask yourself the question whether you wish, with pretty much every part of your being, that you had been to the school for your education. You should feel excitement. Hope. Magic. There are schools on this list that we really do feel that about …. You should also expect to see your child’s face absolutely light up at at least one point in the visit.

We have also run a whole series of interviews with Heads and School Leaders putting them on the spot by asking what they think parents should look for in an outstanding school. They are worth watching. One example can be found here.

For further information on Indian curriculum schools specifically, please see here.

KHDA Inspection Reports in English can be found here.

KHDA Inspection Reports in Arabic can be found here.

Outstanding Schools

For further information on these schools please read our reviews.

All of these schools have a predominance of KHDA Outstanding features . The majority of schools here can be relied on to provide an outstanding education for every child. A minority of schools listed here will provide an outstanding education for particular types of children, for example, those who are the most academically gifted or native French language speakers. Many of these schools compete on the world stage for the exceptional quality of education they provide for children.

School Name Main Curriculum 2019-2020 overall rating
Dubai British School UK Outstanding
Dubai College UK Outstanding
Dubai English Speaking College UK Outstanding
Dubai English Speaking School (Primary) UK Outstanding
GEMS Dubai American Academy US/IB Outstanding
GEMS Jumeirah Primary School UK Outstanding
GEMS Modern Academy Indian(CISCE) Outstanding
GEMS Royal Dubai School UK Outstanding
GEMS Wellington International School UK/IB Outstanding
Horizons English School UK Outstanding
Jumeirah College UK Outstanding
Jumeirah English Speaking School (Primary) UK Outstanding
Jumeirah English Speaking School – Emirates Hills UK/IB Outstanding
Kings’ School Al Barsha UK/IB Outstanding
Kings’ School Dubai UK Outstanding
Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou Primary Oud Metha French Outstanding
Repton School UK/IB Outstanding

Very Good Schools

For further information on these schools please read our reviews.

Some of the following schools have Very Good and/or Outstanding features and do currently provide an outstanding education for many children.

Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou School French Very good
The Indian High School Indian(CBSE) Very good
Dubai International Academy IB Very good
Jebel Ali School UK Very good
GEMS Wellington Primary School UK Very good
Delhi Private School Indian(CBSE) Very good
GEMS Our Own English High School Indian(CBSE) Very good
The Millennium School Indian(CBSE) Very good
Lycee Libanais Francophone Prive-Dubai FRENCH Very good
Deira International School UK/IB Very good
The Winchester School UK Very good
GEMS Wellington Academy UK/IB Very good
Uptown School IB Very good
Lycee Francais International FRENCH Very good
GEMS World Academy IB Very good
Universal American School – Branch US/IB Very good
Raffles World Academy UK/IB Very good
Jumeira Baccalaureate School IB/UK Very good
Ambassador Kindergarten Indian(CISCE) Very good
Victory Heights Primary School UK Very good
Foremarke School UK Very good
Nord Anglia International School UK Very good
Safa Community School UK Very good
Raffles International School -Um Suqeim South BR UK Very good
Regent International Private School UK Very good
Kings School Nad Al Sheba UK Very good
Sunmarke School UK Very good
Ranches Primary School UK Very good
MSB Private School UK Very good
Emirates International School (Meadows) IB Very good
Safa British School UK Very good
JSS International School LLC Indian(CISCE) Very good
JSS Private School Indian(CBSE) Very good
Ambassador School Indian(CISCE) Very good
GEMS New Millennium School L.L.C Indian(CBSE) Very good
GEMS Wellington Academy- Al Khail UK Very good
Dubai British School Jumeirah Park UK Very good
Hartland International School UK\ IB Very good

Good Schools

For further information on these schools please read our reviews.

Some of the following schools have Very Good and/or Outstanding features and do currently provide a very good or outstanding education for many children.

American School of Dubai US Good
Dubai National School US Good
Japanese School Japanese Good
The English College Dubai UK Good
Cambridge International School UK Good
Emirates International private School L.L.C IB Good
Horizon International School – LLC UK Good
Primus Private School LLC Indian(CBSE) Good
The Indian High School-Branch Indian(CBSE) Good
Dubai Gem Private School UK Good
Dubai Scholars Private School UK Good
Greenwood International School US Good
Our Own High School Indian(CBSE) Good
Al Ittihad Private School (BR) US Good
Al Salam Private School UK Good
Al Diyafah High School UK Good
St. Mary Catholic High School Dubai UK Good
Al Rashid Al Saleh Private School MOE Good
Pristine Private School UK Good
GreenField International School IB Good
Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Islamic Institute MOE Good
AL Mawakeb School – Al Barsha US Good
The Westminster School UK Good
Iranian Towheed Boys School Iranian Good
GEMS Our Own Indian School Indian(CBSE) Good
Dubai National School ( Branch) US Good
Al Mawakeb School – Al Garhoud US Good
The Kindergarten Starters Indian(CBSE) Good
Al Basateen Private Nursery Hatta branch MOE Good
The Russian International School RUSSIAN Good
International School of Arts & Sciences US Good
The Sheffield Private School UK Good
GEMS United School US Good
Apple International School UK Good
GEMS International School- Al Khail IB Good
Gems FirstPoint School UK Good
Springdales School LLC Indian(CBSE) Good
Star International School ( Branch ) UK Good
Al Basateen Private Nursery MOE Good
GEMS Al Khaleej National School US Good
The City School International Private UK Good
The Indian Academy Indian(CBSE) Good
Al Ittihad Private school US Good
Sharjah American International Private school US Good
Bilva Indian School Indian(CBSE) Good
Amled School Indian(CBSE) Good
Dove Green Private School UK Good
Clarion School US Good
GEMS Founders School UK Good
GEMS Heritage Indian School (Br of GEMS Wellington Academy FZE) – Dubai Branch Indian(CBSE) Good
International School of Creative Science UK Good
Star International School UK Good
North American International School US Good
Al Adab Iranian Private School for Boys Iranian Good
Al Adab Iranian Private School for Girls Iranian Good
Himayah Kindergarten for Education- Karama MOE Good
North London Collegiate School Dubai IB Good

Acceptable Schools

These schools, for the KHDA, do not meet their minimum expected standards for a school to operate in the UAE. The KHDA, rightfully in our view, sets a very high benchmark. The KHDA evaluates schools on the basis to which they meet the needs of every child at the school. We know, however, that many of the schools here do provide a Very Good or Outstanding education for many children. There will be, however, some core weakness or weaknesses that school will be working on and addressing. It is very simple to find out what these are by reading the KHDA reports, reading our reviews and asking the schools themselves. A good example is the Choueifat schools. They work on a model that is very successful for some children. That model, however, simply does not sit at all comfortably in the framework through which the KHDA judges schools. The Choueifat schools, tellingly, starkly divide the views of parents too – a little bit like Marmite.

Al Arqm Private School MOE Acceptable
Al Eman Educational Est ( Al Eman private School ) MOE Acceptable
Al Maaref Private School (LLC) US Acceptable
Al Nibras International private School US Acceptable
Al Sadiq Islamic English School UK Acceptable
Al Shurooq Private School MOE Acceptable
American International School US Acceptable
American School of Creative Science US Acceptable
Arab Unity School UK Acceptable
Buds Public School Indian(CBSE) Acceptable
Crescent English School Indian(CBSE) Acceptable
Deira private school UK Acceptable
Dubai Carmel School UK Acceptable
Dubai International private School – BR US Acceptable
Elite English School Indian(CBSE) Acceptable
English Language Private School UK Acceptable
Gems Al Barsha National School For Girls UK Acceptable
GEMS Metropole School UK Acceptable
GEMS Winchester School UK Acceptable
Grammar School UK Acceptable
Gulf Indian High School Indian(CBSE) Acceptable
H. H. Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistani School-Dubai ( English Lang) Pakistani Acceptable
Iranian Khadije Kobra School Iranian Acceptable
Iranian Salman Farsi Boys School Iranian Acceptable
Iranian Towheed Girls School Iranian Acceptable
Islamic School for Training & Education MOE Acceptable
Little Flowers English school Indian(CBSE) Acceptable
National Charity School-Boys and Girls MOE Acceptable
New Academy School US Acceptable
New Indian Model School Indian(CBSE) Acceptable
Philadelphia Private School US Acceptable
Queen International School UK Acceptable
Sabari Indian School LLC Indian(CBSE) Acceptable
St. Mary Catholic High School Dubai – Al Muhaisnah UK Acceptable
The Central School Indian(CBSE) Acceptable
The Indian International School (DSO Branch) Indian(CBSE) Acceptable
The International School of Choueifat SABIS Acceptable
The International School of Choueifat – Branch SABIS Acceptable
The Philippine School PHILIPPINE Acceptable
United International Private School PHILIPPINE Acceptable
Amity School L.L.C Indian(CBSE) Acceptable
Newlands School UK Acceptable
The Alpha School LLC UK Acceptable

Weak Schools

These schools do not meet the minimum expected standards for a school to operate in the UAE or effectively teach children. These schools have very serious deficiencies in one or more respects and are not recommended.

Pakistan Educational Academy Pakistani Weak
Gulf Model School Indian(CBSE) Weak

Not Inspected

For further information on these schools please read our reviews.

The following schools were not inspected as, through no fault of their own, they were required to close during the Covid 19 pandemic to protect their children and families on the dates their inspections were due to be completed.

Many of the following schools have Very Good and/or Outstanding features and many do currently provide a Good, Very Good or Outstanding education for the right child.

The School of Research Science UK * Not inspected
Al Mizhar American Academy School US * Not inspected
German International School Dubai GERMAN * Not inspected
Dar Al Marefa School IB * Not inspected
Collegiate American School US * Not inspected
Swiss International Scientific School IB * Not inspected
Kent College Dubai UK * Not inspected
The Arcadia Preparatory School UK * Not inspected
Dubai International private School US * Not inspected
Dubai Modern Education School US/MOE * Not inspected
Modern Skills School US * Not inspected
Oxford School UK * Not inspected
New World  School Private MOE * Not inspected
CAPITAL SCHOOL. UK * Not inspected
International Academic School US * Not inspected
Dubai Arabian American Private School US * Not inspected
Next Generation School US * Not inspected
Oaktree Primary School UK * Not inspected
Smart Vision School UK * Not inspected
Dubai Heights Academy UK * Not inspected
Lycée Francais Jean Mermoz FRENCH * Not inspected
Rising School LLC US * Not inspected
DEWA Academy UK * Not inspected
GEMS Al Barsha National School for Boys UK * Not inspected

© All rights reserved. 2020.


(1) All rights of the KHDA are recognised in this article. Our gratitude to the KHDA for the final approved list of 2020 school inspection results.

(2) All advice, opinions, errors. omissions and perspectives in this article are expressly those of

About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]

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